Thursday, March 19, 2009

AHA Volunteer Leaders Brief National Press on Advocacy Priorities

Earlier this week top American Heart Association volunteers briefed members of the media about the Association’s main legislative priorities including objectives for health reform legislation and increased funding for medical research. National reporters attending had a great dialogue with volunteers and in many cases wrote articles for their respective publications noting the work of the American Heart Association.

What was discussed? The group talked about AHA’s objectives for healthcare reform which include effective prevention strategies, adequate and affordable coverage, and changes in treatment that would promote high quality and cost-effective care for heart disease and stroke patients. Research is another important way the association intends to address the cardiovascular crisis that lies ahead. In 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invested a mere 4% of its budget on heart research and less than 1% on stroke. These disproportionately low levels of funding for the No. 1 and No. 3 causes of death will severely limit efforts to find new ways to prevent heart disease and stroke and reduce death and disability. AHA’s President, Timothy Gardner told reporters that “We have a responsibility to urge lawmakers about the issues that concern our patients, particularly as they confront their health care challenges in this tough economic climate, time is not on our side.” To learn more about the briefing read the press release or check out the article in the Wall Street Journal.

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